Echocardiology Certification and Certificate Program Overviews
Echocardiology technicians, more commonly referred to as echocardiography technicians or ECG technicians, are responsible for using imaging technology to capture pictures of patients' hearts and cardiovascular systems. Aspiring technicians in the field can enroll in an Echocardiography Technician Certificate program.
Echocardiography Technician Certificate Program
Echocardiography technician certificate programs are vocational programs designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions in hospitals, diagnostic imaging labs, or other healthcare facilities. Community colleges and universities typically offer such programs. Students enrolled in an echocardiography technician certificate program work in hospital and classroom labs, learning how to operate scanning equipment as well as instrumental techniques. They also learn how to control infection, perform proper safety procedures, work with patients, and maintain sanitized conditions.
Many schools only accept students into an echocardiography certificate program if they already have an associate's degree in science, nursing, health science, or related area. A certificate program on its own is typically not enough of an educational background to achieve a position in the field.
Certificate programs in echocardiography are vocational in nature and are designed for students who already have a basic understanding of health science. Specific training courses might include:
- EKG patterns
- Patient safety regulations
- Arrhythmia recognition
- Holter monitoring
- Cardiac ultrasound exams
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of all cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists, including ECG technicians, is expected to grow by about 29% from 2010 to 2020, a rate faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS published the median annual salary earned by all such technicians and technologists as $52,070 in May 2012.
The American Society of Echocardiography says that the industry is just starting to be regulated with New Mexico and Oregon requiring echocardiographers to obtain licensure. Other states will probably follow. Some states have echocardiography registry requirements for professionals who conduct stress echoes.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) does offer designations in adult echocardiography, fetal echocardiography and pediatric echocardiography. It also offers a Vascular Technology (VT) designation. In addition, CCI (Cardiovascular Credentialing International) administers the Certified Cardiographic Technician credential for individuals working stress testing, Holter monitoring, and EKG.
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